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8 Mar 2010 : Column 88W—continued

8 Mar 2010 : Column 89W

Members: Correspondence

Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice when he plans to respond to the letter from the hon. Member for Billericay of 19 January 2010 on his constituent Mr Ron Capes. [320743]

Claire Ward: I replied to the hon. Member on 25 February. I apologise for the delay.

National Offender Management Institute

Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what recent assessment he has made of the merits of establishing a National Offender Management Institute. [321177]

Maria Eagle: The Ministry of Justice keeps under regular review the arrangements for carrying out research on offender management. Our priority is to ensure that the research we commission provides good value for money and answers key questions about the most effective practice. We have received a number of proposals seeking funding for setting up an Offender Management Institute. We have assessed these and, while we believe they have some merit, we are not convinced that the time is right to change existing arrangements. Currently, a wide range of research on offender management is being carried out in different parts of the Department.

National Offender Management Service

Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what mechanisms are in place to (a) evaluate the (i) effectiveness and (ii) cost-effectiveness of offender management interventions and (b) provide information on such evaluations. [321176]

Claire Ward: The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has three major longitudinal cohort studies under way aimed at generating evidence on the link between interventions received by offenders and reoffending outcomes. One covers adult prisoners, one adult offenders on community orders, and the other examines juvenile offenders. The MoJ is also overseeing the Unit Cost in Criminal Justice (UCCJ) project which is generating information on the costs of interventions targeted at adult and young offenders. When combined with evidence from the cohorts studies, this will enable the Ministry of Justice to develop further understanding of the cost-effectiveness of interventions.

The findings from these projects will be published on the MoJ website as they become available. Initial results from the prisoner cohort study can be found on the MOJ website at:

National Offender Management Service: Finance

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the projected underspend in the National Offender Management Service's budget is for 2009-10; and if he will make a statement. [312465]

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Maria Eagle: At the end of January 2010, the National Offender Management Service forecast a resource 'near cash' year-end underspend of £18 million (0.4 per cent.) of its 'near cash' Resource budget of £4,003 million. Of this expected underspend, the majority is forecast to come from the change programme with the balance coming from business as usual activities. 'Near cash' resource is principally cash but also includes adjustments for goods and services received but for which invoices have not yet been paid.

National Offender Management Service: Manpower

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people employed in the National Offender Management Service head office and regional offices (a) have a probation background, (b) have a prison background and (c) are career civil servants. [317094]

Maria Eagle: The prison and probation services operate within the framework of the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) Agency. For historical reasons the two services have different employment structures. Prison service staff are civil servants and are directly employed by the NOMS Agency. Probation service staff are not civil servants and are employed by a probation board or trust.

Information on the career histories of National Offender Management Service Headquarters (NOMS) staff does not include National Probation Service (NPS) experience. It is therefore not possible to provide figures of how many NOMS headquarters staff have a NPS background. Career history information that is available shows that 1,776 NOMS headquarters staff have previous experience in Prison Service establishments and are considered to have a prison background, although not all would have worked with offenders.

All NOMS headquarters staff other than those seconded from the NPS are civil servants. On 31 December 2009 there were 4,375 directly employed civil servants in national and regional offices and the Shared Service Centre.

Offences Against Children

Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice with reference to the answer of 13 May 2009, Official Report, column 833W, on offences against children, what proportion of offenders aged 21 years or over convicted of offences related to sexual activity with a child under 13 received (a) immediate custody, (b) a suspended sentence, (c) a community sentence, (d) a fine, (e) a conditional or absolute discharge and (f) other treatment in 2008. [317142]

Mr. Straw: The requested information is shown in the following table.

The proportion of those given various disposals is shown as a percentage of those sentenced. Data held by the Ministry of Justice record the age of the offender at the time of sentencing, the figures show all offenders aged over 21 and over at that point.

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Percentage( 1) of offenders sentenced to disposals for sexual activity with a child under 13, 2008
% Discharged % Fined % given community sentence % given Suspended sentence % given immediate custody % Otherwise dealt with Total persons sentenced


Familial sexual offences with a child under 13








Rape or attempted rape of a child under 13








Abuse of a position of trust - sexual activity with a child under 13








Sexual activity with a child under 13








Child prostitution offences - child under 13








Sexual assault of a female child under 13








Sexual assault of a male child under 13








All above








(1) Due to rounding rows may not sum to exactly 100 per cent.
Note s :
1. These data are based on the principal offence. Where an offender has been sentenced for more than one offence the principal offence is the one for which the heaviest sentence was imposed; where the same sentence has been imposed for two or more offences the principal offence is the one for which the statutory maximum is most severe.
2. Although care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system
OMS Analytical Services, Ministry of Justice

Parliamentary Standards Authority

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what account the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority took of the level access for hon. Members to its offices when determining its permanent location. [319207]

Mr. Straw: The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) is an independent body and the new location of the Authority is wholly a matter for them. Until a suitable mechanism is set up for answering parliamentary questions on the IPSA, the hon. Member may wish to contact IPSA directly.

Police Cautions

Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many cautions were issued in (a) Essex and (b) the Mid-Essex division of Essex constabulary area for (i) violence against the person, (ii) theft and handling stolen goods, (iii) sexual offences, (iv) criminal damage, (v) robbery and (vi) fraud and forgery in each year since 2005. [320988]

Claire Ward: The number of offenders issued with a caution for violence against the person, theft and handling stolen goods, sexual offences, criminal damage and robbery and fraud and forgery as reported by the Essex police force area, 2005 to 2008 (latest available) is shown in the following table.

Court proceedings data are not available at separate divisions within a police force area.

Data for 2009 are planned for publication in the autumn, 2010.

Number of offenders issued with a caution for selected offence type, Essex police force area, 2005 to 2008( 1,2,3)
Offence type 2005 2006 2007 2008

Violence against the person





Sexual offences










Theft and handling stolen goods





Fraud and forgery





Criminal damage





(1) The cautions statistics relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been cautioned for two or more offences at the same time the principal offence is the more serious offence. (2) From 1 June 2000 the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 came into force nationally and removed the use of cautions for persons under 18 and replaced them with reprimands and warnings. These are included in the totals. (3) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used. Source: Justice Statistics Analytical Services in the Ministry of Justice.

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Prison Accommodation

Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what estimate he has made of the number of prison cells reckoned as (a) certified normal and (b) operational capacity accommodation in each of the next five years. [317132]

Mr. Straw: By the end of 2009 the total useable operational capacity of the prison estate was 85,986.

The Government are currently planning to increase overall net capacity to 96,000 places by 2014. There are two substantial programmes to deliver new places, the Core Capacity Programme and the New Prisons Programme. The Core Capacity Programme aims to deliver 12,500 additional places by 2012 (for which 9,500 places had been announced prior to the Carter Report of December 2007). Places are being provided through the building of new prisons as well as expansions at existing ones and more effective use of the estate. The following table shows the approximate number of additional places currently planned for delivery between 2010 and 2012 under this programme (may be subject to change):

Number of places







In addition, under the New Prisons Programme it is intended to build up to five new prisons with a total of 7,500 places and, as part of this programme it is currently planned to close up to 5,500 worn out, inefficient places in the current estate.

The Ministry of Justice does not hold official estimates for future useable operational capacity. Operational capacity figures will also be affected by the impact of maintenance programmes, which will vary over time. The precise numbers and delivery timings of new prison places will also depend on construction schedules and prioritisation within the prison estate.

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